I’ve lost 7 pounds in 10 days. It isn’t healthy. What’s interesting is that I am actually quite pleased. Before this project I had already started changing my eating habits and began exercising more in an effort to lose about twenty pounds. Although the motivation for this project has nothing to do with losing weight, monitoring it has become a daily ritual. Healthy weight loss is about 2 pounds a week; I’m far beyond that. I’m not fat, but I’m tired of my “average” body shape, and feel compelled to make sure that my lifestyle reflects my values. I want to live a long and healthy life, and I like the way I feel when I exercise. In addition, I also have certain ideas of what beauty is.
While this project has become a way to have conversations about the 1 billion people who are living on a dollar a day or less, as well as to consider the many privileges we take for granted here in the United States, it also has made me start to think about issues related to body image.
In an earlier post I wrote about a message we’re constantly given: EAT. In what makes for a great contradiction we’re also constantly told: THIN = BEAUTIFUL. In the United States alone we spend billions of dollars a year to work toward this end. Weight loss products, diet books, gym memberships, home fitness equipment, and pharmaceuticals are just a few of the ways we spend our money in order to “get in shape.” Yet we are one of the fattest nations on earth. We see images of thin people in magazines, on television, and in films that offer a constant reminder of what beautiful is. The result is that many of us are left feeling “fat” or “less than” in comparison.
My hope is that one day each of us will be able to look in the mirror and know we are beautiful because of who we are, not because of what we look like. My hope is that we will exercise because it makes us feel good, not because we feel so bad.
It’s madness that while someone is dying RIGHT NOW from starvation, many others are dying from over-eating. Right now someone is at the gym trying to be The Biggest Loser, while somewhere else a young person is throwing up what they ate in order to feel thin. With food at the center of it all, it seems reasonable that maybe it’s time we start having an honest conversation about it.
Breakfast: 1 Cup cooked oatmeal w/ 1 TSP margarine – $0.09
Lunch: 2 Lunch: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich (homemade bread, 2 TBSP Peanut Butter, 1 TBSP Jelly) – $0.36 popped popcorn – $0.07 (Kerri only)
Appetizer: 1 Slice of pizza – $0.08 (Christopher only)
Dinner: 1.5 Cups refried Beans – $0.21, 1.5 Cup Spanish Rice – $0.17 (Christopher only), Spaghetti – $0.45 (Kerri only)
Christopher Total: $0.91
Kerri Total: $0.97
Donation Total: $189
(THANK YOU FOR CONTINUING TO DONATE!)
NOTE: If you think what we’re doing is interesting, inspiring, or just plain nutty, consider SPONSORING our efforts. Simply enter in an amount, click “update total” and follow the prompting. If you don’t have PayPal, it will let you use a credit card. At the end of the of the month all proceeds will go to the Community Resource Center (here in Encinitas, CA) and/or the ONE campaign. We will post evidence of donations at the end.